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Flip that coin again.

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PECOTA helps pick the best player in baseball for every age, from Julio Urias to Bartolo Colon and all the superstars in between.

I have a vivid memory from my little league days of sitting in the dugout after practice and listening intently as a teammate read Baseball America’s rankings of the best players in the country by age. The best player on our team, who later went on to play Division I ball, was annoyed by the notion of a 13-year-old somewhere else getting so much attention for what couldn’t possibly be (he figured) superior talent. The sixth-best player on our team, who later went on to write this article, found it fascinating that there was a 13-year-old so good at baseball that they were being written about in magazines.

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February 1, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Adrian Beltre vs. Kyle Seager


Bryan Joiner

It's an AL West showdown at the hot corner.

Here’s a fun one. In one corner of this AL West hot corner showdown, we have Kyle Seager, Seattle’s wonderful 29-year old third baseman. In the other we have Adrián Beltré, himself once Seattle’s wonderful 29-year-old third baseman and now a living legend in the fields of comedy, fielding, and comedy in the field, to name a few. Will the Beltré prevail, or will the brash young upstart take his spot? Let’s find out!

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December 12, 2016 8:27 am

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Batting Average: The Landscape


George Bissell

Less contact means less average, right?

Batting average is the benchmark by which hitters have been judged for a century. It remains an integral statistical component of traditional fantasy leagues. Perhaps I’m just too much of a sabermetric fantasy hipster (with my flannel shirt, on-base percentage format, and NPR coffee mug) to accept it as an adequate metric for evaluating a hitter’s total offensive performance. Among the troika of triple-slash stats, batting average reveals the least information about a batters profile. In addition to being utterly devoid of contextual factors (like park factors, BABIP, and quality of opposing defense) that have a direct impact, it also fails to take into account that not all hits are equal in value.

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Adrian Beltre is a Hall of Fame player, but his impact goes beyond the numbers.

There has never been anyone like Adrián Beltré.

This is where one would normally jump into a dissection of his incredible talent and on-field accomplishments, and then end in a rigorous whacking-over-the-head with his Hall of Fame-worthy accreditations. Maybe we should, anyway, but what really stands out when Adrián Beltré plays baseball is joy.

Beltré is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game, with one of the more unusual careers. He’s an offensive dynamo, a defensive wizard, and his successes on the biggest stage could be an excuse for him to be any average dour and over-serious veteran player--or at least, the kind of personality void that happens from prolonged exposure to the media.

Instead, Beltré approaches games like there’s nothing else he’d rather do. He’s one of the rare people in the game who can treat it with the levity it deserves without inciting the ire of less-forgiving opponents. He approaches every plate appearance with purpose--with dedication to his craft and an honoring of his talent--but imbued in all that is joy.

It’s difficult to talk about this kind of thing without tipping straight over into raw sentiment, something that has its place in this game, but not overmuch. It might even be easy to diminish the accomplishments of the player in over-simplifying him to a set of reactions and meme-able GIFs, instead of taking it all in as a whole and marveling at both the humor and the pride.

Beltré dances, runs away from tags, pulls runners off the bag, walks up to the plate with his helmet on backwards, and messes with umpires. He’s also a deeply respected clubhouse presence, the first off the bench in the case of an altercation, and the captain who doesn’t need a “C” to determine his legacy. In an age when any kind of showboating can lead to full-out brawls, Beltré hits home runs from one knee.

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The Red Sox look for bullpen help and the Rangers look to extend one of their elder statesmen.

Red Sox eyeing left-handed relievers
As the offseason winds down, teams stocking up on bullpen options qualifies as noteworthy news. Peter Abraham, who covers the Red Sox for the Boston Globe, brought us a dose on Thursday, tweeting that Dave Dombrowski and his staff are in the market for a southpaw. Specifically, Abraham mentioned Neal Cotts and Franklin Morales as possibilities for the Red Sox, who are likely hoping that one of the veterans would accept a minor-league deal and come to camp as a non-roster invitee.

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October 8, 2015 6:00 am

Player Profile: Adrian Beltre


Nick Shlain

Look closely at Adrian Beltre... just don't touch his head.

Player Background

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January 30, 2015 6:00 am

Player Profile: Adrian Beltre


Jeff Quinton

The Rangers' third baseman is getting up there in age, but he continues to produce at a high level.

Player Background

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In the debut edition of this series, the fantasy team looks at players who could outperform their PECOTA projections in batting average.

One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and finish at the top of one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall just shy of the top 10 (in the 11 to 25 range) and one longer shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’ll take a look at offense this week and pitching next. To kick things off here is a bounty of hidden treasure in the batting average department:


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February 12, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Third Basemen


Ben Carsley

With Miguel Cabrera set to move across the diamond, Evan Longoria and David Wright usurp the top tier.

For the previous installments in this series, click the links below:

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July 11, 2013 5:00 am

What You Need to Know: Dodgers Back at Breakeven


Daniel Rathman

The Dodgers are poised on the precipice of a winning record for the first time since April.

The Wednesday Takeaways
With 30 teams in the major leagues, there are 435 possible matchups, and—since there are no ties in baseball—870 possible results. Entering play on Wednesday night, 869 of those outcomes had, at some point in history, been recorded. But the Pirates had never beaten the Athletics. They had played 11 times, including twice earlier this week, and the A’s had won each one.

Finally, in their 12th crack at the green and gold since 2002, the Buccos came out on top. Clint Hurdle’s club, which—now just 28 wins shy of the franchise’s first winning season in two decades—is well on its way to a more significant bit of history, rode the left shoulder of Francisco Liriano to a 5-0 shutout in the series finale.

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For reasons unclear, Matthew wants the Rangers' third baseman to be the AL MVP. Can he make a case?

I’ve wanted to write about Adrian Beltre for a long time, but with the Rangers' quick playoff exit there hasn’t been a good excuse. Then today, at the sports bar, standing at the urinal, I thought, "You know, Adrian Beltre should be the MVP." Because that’s what I think about in the bathroom, standing at the urinal: Adrian Beltre and the MVP race. And nothing else.

The MVP votes have already been cast so this is as effective as a political advertisement on November 7th, but hey, sometimes the candidates have money left over and what are you gonna do? Besides donate it to a homeless shelter or something all moral or whatever.

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